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Total's Pouyanne Gambles on Middle East Oil as Rivals Favor U.S.

  • Total has spread in Mideast, Africa while others have exited
  • Exxon, Chevron, Shell want to boost focus on American shale
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Watch Pouyanne’s 15-minute interview with Bloomberg.Source: Bloomberg

Patrick Pouyanne, the pugnacious boss of Total SA, sees risks differently.

The French oil giant became the first Western major to sign a deal with Iran following the end of sanctions, has added projects in Abu Dhabi and Qatar and Pouyanne said last week’s $450 million acquisition in Libya is one of his “best deals ever.” He is expanding in the region even as some of his biggest rivals focus on politically safer U.S. shale.